People who regularly drink coffee, with or without sugar, both seem to benefit from the drink as it lowers the risk of early death, The Guardian reported.
Drinking a cup of coffee can be something you do almost unconsciously as you sit down with the morning news paper or before you start your work day. As the day wears on, you may have drunk 3 cups or even 5 without even thinking about it. However, scientists have-been very conscious of global coffee consumption.
It is estimated that more than 400 million cups of coffee are drunk in the US every day – that’s literally more than one cup of coffee for every in-habitant of the country. Since not everyone drinks coffee every day, the numbers suggest that the average American coffee drinker drinks 3 cups of coffee a day.
How coffee affect your health?
The critical component in coffee, Caffeine is a stimulant of central nervous system. Every time you consume caffeine or a soft drink that also contains caffeine, The chemical blocks the action of adenosine on neural receptors & preventing you from feeling sleepy.
While this helps you feel more active & energetic, caffeine is an addictive drug and researchers have cautioned against consuming too much of it. Strangely though, however, coffee consumption has also been linked to positive outcomes, such as limiting the growth of prostate cancer or hotter drinks full of antioxidants.
So the researchers have tapped into UK Biobank to find out what the effects of drinking coffee over a long period of time.
Learnings from the UK Biobank
Established in 2006, the UK Biobank collects information on the lifestyle, genetics & health of more than 500,000 people. This data can easily be separated by the type of people you want to study, e.g. People who consume coffee or not, people who consume more than 3 cups of coffee a day and so on.
A group of Chinese researchers accessed that database and selected a cohort of 171,000 participants for their study and followed them over a 7 year period during which 3,177 people died, The Guardian reported.
Analyzing factors such as age, body mass index, level of physical activity & ethnicity among several other variables, The researchers found that people who drank coffee without sugar had the lowest risk of death, while those who did not drink coffee at all had the highest risk. It showed that people who consumed between 2.5 & 4.5 cups of coffee per day had a 29% lower risk of death.
Even for people who drank coffee with sugar, the risk of death was comparatively lower than for people who didn’t drink the beverage. Results were similar regardless of whether participants consumed instant, ground, or decaffeinated coffee. The data didn’t provide a clear correlation between people who used artificial sweeteners instead.
Researchers who were not involved in the study told The Guardian that such findings should not be taken at face value. Studies of this type are observational in nature and do not imply that their results are conclusive. Although coffee is addictive, it may not be harmful to your health. People in larger quantities, but that doesn’t mean you can consume as many sweetened coffees as you like.
The experts also said that the data collection for the UK Biobank consisted of asking participants just once about their lifestyle and drink choices. It’s also important to note that coffee drinkers are often wealthier people who lead healthier lifestyles than those who don’t.
So it’s not just a cup of coffee that makes the difference.